Maryland men’s lacrosse midfielder Anthony DeMaio has a large, supportive family, but for much of his college career, he was over 2,700 miles apart from them.
Demaio’s brother and teammate Nick DeMaio was with him in College Park, but his parents Tom and Nicole DeMaio, as well as his four younger sisters were on the other side of the country in San Diego, California.
But that all changed when the duo received a call from their parents one day this past August, telling the brothers that they would be relocating approximately 40 minutes away from campus in Urbana, Maryland.
“Luckily the Terps are so amazing,” Nicole said. “They basically were Anthony and Nick’s family when we were’t there, which is amazing. I’ll never forget that. I know they always felt like they were loved and had plenty of support.”
Prior to the move, Nicole and Tom would fly from the West Coast to almost every Maryland game, including home and away matchups. The couple typically arrived the Friday before a game and departed two days later on Sunday, granting little to no time to be spent with their two sons.
“I think it was tough for [Anthony] starting out with us being all the way across [the country],” Tom said. “Nick’s situation was a little different because he knew a lot of these guys coming in.
“But with Anthony, once he got adapted to the team, it really wasn’t that different than if we were 40 minutes down the road,” Tom said.
The DeMaio family is originally from Boston, but in 2010 it moved to San Diego due to Tom’s job as a business manager with Covanta, a waste energy company that is headquartered in New Jersey. But when the opportunity to come back to the East Coast opened up, the DeMaio family accepted it.
“They’ve been talking about it for a while,” Anthony said. “I have four little sisters, they all play lacrosse. So they thought if my dad had a job opening, it made sense for them just because they get to do all that and play lacrosse at a higher level around here.”
When looking for the lacrosse-drive in the DeMaio family, it begins with Tom, who has been around the sport for the majority of his life. As a former midfielder, similar to his son Anthony, Tom played lacrosse while in high school in Boston and continued his passion to Springfield College where he said he played hockey and lacrosse.
Tom served as his son’s youth and club lacrosse coach and coached Anthony during his freshman year at JSerra Catholic High School in California. That year, Tom was the team’s defensive coordinator and former John’s Hopkins lacrosse standout and Premier Lacrosse League midfielder Kyle Harrison was the head coach.
With Tom possessing over 20 years of high school coaching experience, his family has been around the sport and developed a passion for it.
“It’s been a big sport for us over the years in the family,” Tom said. “And once I started coaching in high school, my family was around the sport pretty much 12 months a year.”
While residing in California, the family was able to witness one of Anthony’s games in person without a red-eye flight when the Terps traveled to Costa Mesa, California, about 87 miles North of San Diego, to take on No. 19 North Carolina on March 24, 2018. Anthony had his first multi-point game of his career, notching one goal and one assist en route to an 11-7 Terps win.
“We had tons and tons of people that came to that game from all over,” Nicole said.
Now that the family is in closer proximity to Anthony and Nick, Tom and Nicole won’t be the only ones getting the opportunity to watch the brothers play, but their sisters and in-laws will be able to come to witness some Maryland men’s lacrosse games.
“I think that’ll definitely be big just for them to be able to watch all the games,” Anthony said. “My parents would normally come but just having my little sister’s there will be — that’ll be a good time seeing them all the time and come down all the time on the weekends.”
Anthony is coming off of a breakout redshirt sophomore season, recording 46 points on 28 goals and 18 assists as a member of the Maryland first midfield line. While most opposing defenses keyed in on fellow midfielder Bubba Fairman, attackman Logan Wisnauskas and Tewaaraton finalist Jared Bernhardt, Anthony DeMaio offered a steady hand on the offensive side of the ball for the Terps.
“I thought Anthony was one of the big reasons why we did so well last year,” Maryland men’s lacrosse head coach John Tillman said. “He really evolved as a dodger, a leader — just his confidence.”
Now as he looks to build on a prosperous 2019 season, which included a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association honorable mention award, Anthony will be able to find comfort in his family being less than an hour away.
“I think that’s going to be his most exciting thing,” Nicole said on Oct. 2. “We talked to him last night. He said he wanted to come home next week or whenever Fall [camp] is over and just kind of hang and spend time with everybody.”